Sunday, January 9, 2011

What does MAD mean to me?

These past couple weeks I've been reading PDF files of MAD Magazine (gotten a number of years back from GITCorp on DVD-ROM) on my iPad (which I got for Christmas from my wife and I love it a lot!!). I thought I'd share my thoughts about what I liked over the years about MAD in particular.

I should note first that I mostly got into reading MAD during the 70's and early 80's. I would tend to pick up an issue now and again if there was a good TV and/or movie parody that I wanted to see. A lot of times I'd pick up the Super Specials since they tended to be more "theme" oriented and they were a good price for reprints of past articles.

As for regular features, here are those I liked:

"The Lighter Side of..." - Dave Berg did a fantastic job for three to five pages each issue, focusing on topics and creating a nice set of reoccurring characters in humorous settings. This was one feature I read every single time. I think it was the art which really captured my attention - and Dave tended to do some good humor too.

"Spy vs. Spy" - always loved Antonio Prohias' work on this feature. I was one to root for the White Spy, though when the Gray Spy (the female) was introduced I immediately became a fan of her.

Don Martin's characters always cracked me up. Again, a great artist style that was uniquely his. Now, he tended to go to the Frog Prince well a little too often for my taste, but still his pages always left me smiling.

Sergio Argones' marginal cartoons and "A Mad Look At..." features were always a treat too. Sergio has a unique style also that carried over to other things outside of MAD (like Groo, for example). I met him once at the San Diego Comic-Con - he was a delight to talk to. I even got an original sketch in my Comic Book Creators book.

And, as I mentioned before, the movie and TV parodies were also my favorites. I tended to read those of things I had seen (or shows I regularly watched). I always loved how artists like Mort Drucker could get the likenesses down so good. That really helped sell me on the parody.

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